“Education should aim at destroying free will so that after pupils are thus schooled they will be incapable throughout the rest of their lives of thinking or acting otherwise than as their school masters would have wished ... The social psychologist of the future will have a number of classes of school children on whom they will try different methods of producing an unshakable conviction that snow is black. When the technique has been perfected, every government that has been in charge of education for more than one generation will be able to control its subjects securely without the need of armies or policemen.”
Johann Gottlieb Fichte
(1762-1814) German philosopher, psychologist, considered the father of German nationalism
Prussian University in Berlin, 1810, quoted by The Impact of Science on Society by Bertrand Russell, 1952
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Robert, Las Vegas      
Reminds me of when the "New Math" was all the rage. 2 plus 2 equals 5, but not to worry, close enough. We wouldn't want to hurt the little darlings self esteem by telling them it was 4.
 -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
  • 2
    I suppose this is an anti-Liberty quote. We can expect this sort of thing from any nationalist government. I sure hope we can stop the current federal government from usurping into a national government. Will not the states ever stand up to Washington DC?
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
    Despite the thought, kids can and do think for themselves and to this date, no government has been able to rule through the education of young people of the United States.
     -- Bob, Solvang     
  • 3
    Is this authentic?
     -- Polo, Mexico     
    FAR, FAR too true, FAR, FAR too often. I am not quite sure how to rate this. Five stars for accuracy or a thumbs down for what has been done to a once free country of sovereigns. I guess a thumbs down.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 2
    I would imagine this to be satire.... though for a psychologist it's rare...
     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
  • 1
    More true now perhaps than ever before. Dumbing down of America taken to the next level. Psychologist have been having a field day with this one. Learning disabilities can be induced given the right opportunities. Living in the land of " One Flew Over the Coo Coos Nest " the great North West for the past six years, rains over 200 days a year. Social engineering within this huge melting pot of humanity in the central valleys and coastal regions shows the result of their labor in a gross way. One of the Most socialistic States in the union, Oregon. It is very sad indeed to come full circle, up close with the poor people who Do Not understand the question of WHY. It is Not satire, but very, very true and on point ! Bob, Solvang, have you had your head in the sand ? Or perhaps a practicing psychologist ? Where do you suppose there is the greatest concentration of psychologist in this country. People have no idea to the brainwashing that has been taking place now on, for many a generation.
     -- Ronw13, USA     
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